French-Style Mashed Potatoes (Pommes Purée)
Why This Recipe Works
Chef Joël Robuchon’s indulgent recipe for ultrasilky and buttery mashed potatoes poses a number of challenges for the home cook, including peeling piping-hot whole boiled potatoes, laboriously beating a full pound of cold butter into the potatoes, and passing the puree multiple times through a special restaurant sieve called a tamis. Our recipe eliminates all those challenges. Instead of using water, we cook peeled, diced potatoes directly in the milk and butter that will be incorporated into the mash. This approach also eliminates the need to laboriously beat in the butter after the fact and captures potato starch released during cooking, which is key to producing an emulsified texture where the butter doesn’t separate out. Processing the potatoes with just a food mill (skipping the tamis) delivers a puree that is still wonderfully smooth but requires a lot less work.